Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness : MCU at its best ?

A few days after the long waited Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness released in all theaters, it was time to talk about the movie.

Like a majority of Marvel fans, I was waiting for this movie more than any recent MCU movie (yes, more than Spider-Man: No Way Home). I was waiting it for many reasons. First of all because the first Doctor Strange movie was clearly a good one and I really wanted to see him back in his own movie. Secondly because after the WandaVision show and the confirmation of Wanda being in the movie, I knew that the movie was going a big one. Finally, because Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was clearly announced as a turning point in the MCU since it was the first time that the multiverse would be a main element of the movie after being teased, mentionned several times across projects like Loki or Spider-Man: No Way Home. Oh and Sam Raimi was directing this movie so I was waiting to see how he handle this, especially when we know how good his Spider-Man movies were. Spoilers : I was mostly satisfied by the movie and its overall quality.

So as I said I had high expectations about this movie and honestly, I was not disappointed. The trailers were very mysterious and kept the secret about the movie, which means that a lot of elements were a surprise. We already knew about some elements of the movie but we didn’t really know how important or not these elements were in the movie and this was a good thing as the movie was a constant discovery. More generally the movie was well constructed and directed. I thought that the multiverse was well used without and it wasn’t too much on many aspects. We had enough variants of Strange himself, all importants for a different reason, the presence of the Illuminatis were justified and at the same time they officially introduced in a proper way the X-Mens and the Fantastic Four (at least in an alternate universe as we still need to see they’ll be introdued in the main universe).

On the other side, we had Wanda, the other main character of this movie who was more of an antagonist rather than a real vilain. Her character was clearly in the continuity of how WandaVision ended and as she became the Scarlet Witch, the movie really showed how dangerous and powerful she could be (and will be). We can show some critics towards her motivations but I think that the most important thing is that it was coherent and relevant towards what happened at the end of WandaVision and the way the movie ended for her clearly left an open door regarding her future in the MCU. What I just said about Wanda is in my mind, the same for the other main characters, Doctor Strange and America Chavez. Everything regarding Strange himself was in the continuity of what we already knew and what was introduced during the first movie and during his other apparitions in the MCU. For America Chavez it was clear and simple : we still don’t know a lot of things about her but the movie gave us what was necessary in order to undrstand the movie. She had a quick introduction regarding her powers and her family background, enough to create an attachement towards her character and enough to show how important she is in the movie because of her power. In brief, we had a trio of three main characters who were well written and had very clear and understable roles in the movie.

Before talking about some defaults, I need to quickly mention the overall quality of the movie and the work Sam Raimi did. The movie was really original and globally more qualitative than most of MCU movies. The movie was clearly darker than the rest of the MCU and this was a good thing. I like the jokes in the MCU, but I also like watching different movies, projects that goes in another direction than the classic formula of super-heroes movies. Sam Raimi brought some cool ideas to the movie as well as his knowledge in terms of horrror movies which allowed him to produce some cool scenes and moments that had a small horrific side, enough to produce an original and different result. Besides these elements, the overall visual and musical quality of the movie is good, we had some stunning visuals and musical moments, especially the fight between Strange and the evils version of him.

However this movie is not perfect and had some defaults. I’d say that there is three main defaults that disappointed me. Two of them are the books, on one side the Darkhold and on the other side its opposite, the Book of the Vishanti. A the beginning of the movie, these two books are introduced as importants elements but it turns out that they weren’t, or maybe they were not used properly. After almost an hour of movie, Wong says that the Darkhold is just a copy of some dark magic written at the top of the Mount Wundagore. It doesn’t make the Darkhold totally useless as Strange will use it later in the movie so he can beat Wanda but this revelation clearly diminished the role of the Darkhold. Same thing for the Book of the Vishanti, presented as super important right at the beginning of the movie, turns out Wanda burns the book and our heroes still succeed without it while it was presented as the key for almost everything. Finally I wanted to mention that evil version of Doctor Strange we saw late in the movie. I’m not sure it was a default but I was disappointed by it. This version was clearly inspired by the evil Doctor Strange from What If but it was a different one, clearly less powerful. I wished the movie gave us more background of why he became like that and a longer opposition between him and our good old Strange from earth 616. Maybe I was expecting too much from this evil Strange after watching What If…

In conclusion I’d said that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was simply a good movie. The overall quality was great and I was really satisfied watching it. While leaving the theater I made the comparison with Marvel’s last big project, Spider-Man: No Way Home. When I wrote about Spider-Man, I gave 5 stars to the movie and I said the movie was incredible. A few months later, after thinking about it, all the good thoughts and hype I had about it were only because of the nostalgy due to the presence of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in the movie. Overall the movie was really average. The hype and excitement I had while leavong the theater after Doctor Strange was really different. It was because the movie was just good, because I spent a good moment during two hours and I was happy about the quality of the movie I watched. In fact, I had the same feeling after I watched Eternals. The movie was just good because it was different and original compatred to most of MCU movies and also but the overall quality of the movie was really high. It’s exactly the same for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.